Jump to: navigation, search

Paperpusher's Message Board

PPMB logo, version 2.5

The Paperpusher's Message Board, often abbreviated to PPMB, is the longest-running message board in Daria fandom history, and the major gathering place for Daria fans. Founded in 1999, it originally served as a replacement for the Lawndale Commons forum, and later the Outpost Daria Message Board. The board gets its name from the original owner and founder, the Paperpusher. It has over 900 registered users, the largest known gathering of Daria fans outside of Facebook. Until late 2010, it and the Sheep's Fluff Message Board, were hosted by Gamer. In December 2010, the PPMB moved to Site5, a webhosting company. The PPMB is run on phpBB, an open-source message board software.

The PPMB may be unusual and perhaps even unique—please note the use of the conditional here—among free online communities for its longevity and size. As of January 2015, it hosts posts dating back more than a decade, and boasts members who even antedate its current incarnation.

History

The PPMB was originally founded by the Paperpusher as early as October 13, 1999; its earliest saved copy can be found at www.webarchive.org, with its original address of paperpusher.simplenet.com. In the beginning, it served as a replacement board when Lawndale Commons, the premiere message board, abruptly closed its doors in late 1999/early 2000. Until then, Lawndale Commons and the Outpost Daria Fanfiction Message Board were the two main message boards. When Lawndale Commons shut down, fans scrambled to find an alternative.

The Paperpusher's site

The Paperpusher offered the Paperpusher Message Board, while Martin J. Pollard, owner of the Outpost Daria Message Board, expanded its topics beyond fanfiction. Because Outpost Daria's message board was already well known to fans, most spent the bulk of their time there, while the Paperpusher Message Board, with its single forum, was a slower-paced alternative. When the Outpost Daria website was "Foxed," or sent a letter by Viacom asking Outpost Daria to cease the alleged infringement of its intellectual property, the Outpost Daria Message Board was closed. The bulk of Daria fandom then migrated to the PPMB, which became the major message board of Daria fandom.

Unlike many of the earlier Daria message boards, the PPMB could be efficiently moderated, with messages that violated the ad-hoc guidelines removed and belligerent users banned. Other message boards such as the Scorched Remnants Message Board remained unmoderated, and after the SRMB closed, the Sheep's Fluff Message Board opened to provide a forum for Daria fans who wanted to post on a message board that allowed the discussion of sexuality and other adult topics. However, PPMB remains the central message board of Daria fandom.

The board remained run by Paperpusher who kept control of the board in the hands of its staff of moderators. In 2005, Paperpusher turned the control of the PPMB over to Kara Wild. For the sake of continuity, Wild declined to change the name or alter the message board's design.

As part of Paperpusher's desire to maintain the message board as a separate entity from the show, his caption described it simply as "A place to talk about stuff." In January 2011, after a couple of fans noted that there was nothing marking the board as a Daria board, Wild changed it to "A place to talk about MTV's Daria. And other stuff."

Forums

Originally, the PPMB had a single forum devoted to all topics. As with the Outpost Daria Message Board, threads formed long strings that could take up an entire page. Circa February or March 2000, the Paperpusher created two forums, with one devoted to general topics and the other presumably devoted to "Daria." He also enacted a list of policies, including 1) no illegal activity, 2) no personal attacks, 3) no antagonistic behavior, 4) no hate posts, 5) no cussing, and 6) rules are subject to change without notice. Paperpusher wanted to maintain a welcome board, but was adamant that he and the moderators have a free hand when things got rough.

PPMB logo, version 2.0

In July 2003, to cope with the ever-growing traffic, the Paperpusher created "Paperpusher Message Board 2.0" at thepaperpusher.com. The new message board contained more forums than the original, and threads were now self-contained. The original forums were: News and Announcements, Suggestion Box, General Forum, Nick's Corner, The Box, and Creative Writing. (In time, Paperpusher would add two more forums: Deep Thoughts and The Easel.) Users could now include avatars and signatures with their posts, and the new phpBB format allowed them to post large graphics and use emoticons. Users could also increase their status along with their post count. Each user had a set of five brains that turned from grey to yellow the more they posted. Newbies were all grey and called Tabula Rasa; 26-249 was Savant; 250-499 was Prodigy; 500-999 was Brain; 1000-2499 was Super Brain; and 2500 onward was Evil Genius. Moderators, meanwhile, had six yellow brains, while the Admin had six red brains.

When Kara Wild took over the PPMB in 2005 at thepaperpusher.net, she added an Announcements (with Comments) forum so that users could respond to the various announcements, whereas before, they did not have permission. She also created three more ranks for people with the most posts: 5000-7499 was Mind Controller; 7500-9999 was World Dominator; and 10,000 and above was Darian. Posters with Mind Controller/World Dominator status have brains that blink and move. The Darian visual consists of a pair of glasses superimposed over the usual brains, complete with eyes that blink.

Notably, Wild also made a new Rules list because Paperpusher's original list never made the transition to PPMB 2.0, which meant that users could get cited for violations of rules they never knew about. Wild expanded upon the original list and attempted to clarify in areas where the first list had been vague. (At the time, she did not have the web archive for use, and therefore had to go by memory.) Her PPMB rules were: 1) no posting just to advertise, 2) no activity that would be considered illegal in the United States, 3) no explicit sexual material, 4) no hard swearing, 5) no racial or sexual slurs, 6) no attacking your fellow board members, 7) no oversized images/avatars/signatures/links, 8) no posting entire articles, 9) stay on topic, and 10) the moderators and administrators enforce the rules at their discretion. The last rule generated some controversy and caused some members to leave as it was felt that it gave the staff too much leeway to interpret the rules so that they would not apply to staff (although these members generally could not articulate how or when such favoritism occurred).

Over time, Wild would add an Other Languages forum in an attempt to cater to the non-English speaking Daria fans. However, this proved less than successful, and she wound up scaling it back. She also created a DVDaria and More Forum for fan attempts to get the show onto DVD. The PPMB was upgraded to 2.5, in June 2007.

In October 2010, due to an increasing number of server errors, Wild decided to move the PPMB to Site5. Over the next two months, with guidance from Scissors MacGillicutty, she copied files, built a database, and even tested a "mirror" PPMB on a different site. The move finally took place on December 30, 2010. Board members complimented the smoothness of the transfer and the speedier posting. However, some files still needed to be copied as of January 2011 to make the transition complete.

On January 2, 2011, Wild set up a Twitter account: PaperpusherMB. She would use it in the event of a major crash, but stresses that board members can also contact the Site5 support staff and keep track of the server on the SIte5 main pages. Having a support staff on hand to answer questions is what drew Wild to Site5 in the first place.

Administrators and moderators

Paperpusher appointed his first two "elves," or moderators, in early 2000: Diane Long and Kara Wild. Since traffic was low, the moderators seldom needed to act, and Kara Wild notes, "At times, I forgot that I even was a moderator." That would change when Outpost Daria's Message Board shut down permanently. As the PPMB post count surged, Paperpusher annointed several more moderators, including Chad Page, Steven Galloway, Crazy Nutso, Kemical Reaxion, Canadibrit, and J. The most the PPMB ever had at one time was seven, with Kara Wild, Crazy Nutso, and Steven Galloway among the most active mods. Moderators had the option of deleting posts, deleting users, and muting users (denying them the right to post).

After the creation of the "Paperpusher Message Board 2.0" in 2003, only Kara Wild, Steven Galloway, Chad Page, and J remained as moderators. They agreed to moderate the new board, which now gave them the option of moving threads, deleting entire threads at once, checking IP addresses of users, and locking threads. However, notably, this new message board stripped them of some powers they had on the original PPMB, specifically the power to delete users, mute users, or "undelete" posts that might have been deleted accidentally. This arrangement proved to be problematic when the Paperpusher spent less and less time interacting with Daria fandom and the PPMB found itself beset by spammers and other trolls. Kara Wild and Steven Galloway, the two remaining active mods, could only delete the posts, not the users.

Because Chad Page and J had stopped visiting the PPMB, Wild appointed new moderators after taking over the board in 2005: RLobinske and Ranger Thorne. Quiverwing (then nmorgendorffer) soon followed. Steven Galloway was appointed a co-admin, because Wild did not want another situation where the board got out of control and no one was available to delete users. Ranger Thorne and Steven Galloway eventually chose to step down, citing time constraints due to real life, and Wild appointed E. A. Smith to be the moderator, while making RLobinske her co-admin.

In May 2007, Wild granted Quiverwing and E. A. Smith administrator status, marking the first time the PPMB counted on a main staff of administrators only. The change only lasted four weeks, but signaled a new direction for the board as Wild later announced that she would be discontinuing her moderator duties in mid-August. She promoted Quiverwing to administrator and, after E.A. Smith indicated that he no longer wished to continue, modded UU and Dervish. In 2008, Dervish gave up her modship when it looked as though she would be spending less time online, and Wild appointed Scissors MacGillicutty.

In October 2010, Wild promoted Scissors MacGillicutty to admin so that he could use his technical knowledge to fully dissect the board's problems and help with the move to Site5. Wild later promoted UU, which meant that all of the moderators now had administrator status.

December 2014 saw an unusual crisis: the backend database had reached the maximum size allowed by the Site5 for the PPMB's hosting plan, and service was suspended. The alternatives were to upgrade to a more expensive hosting plan and charge for memberships, change to another hosting company, or trim the database. The last was the alternative chosen, and four forums—General, Nick's Corner, Weapons of Mass Distraction, and Deep Thoughts—were shorn of threads older than a year. Those threads and posts are not lost: there is a pre-trim database snapshot. However, as of this writing (16 January 2015), no member has asked for any posts or threads from it.

Staff

Year Username Primary rank Other notes
2000 Paperpusher Administrator Site owner
Kara Wild Moderator  
Diane Long Moderator  
2000-2003 Paperpusher Administrator Site owner  
Kara Wild Moderator  
Diane Long Moderator  
Crazy Nutso Moderator  
Chad Page Moderator  
Kemical Reaxion Moderator  
Canadibrit Moderator  
Steven Galloway Moderator  
J Moderator  
2003-2005 Paperpusher Administrator Site owner  
Kara Wild Moderator  
Chad Page Moderator  
Steven Galloway Moderator  
J Moderator  
2005-2006 Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
Steven Galloway Administrator  
RLobinske Moderator  
Ranger Thorne Moderator  
Quiverwing Moderator Also foreign language moderator  
Mr Orange Registered user Foreign language moderator 
TerraEsperZ Registered user Foreign language moderator 
2006-2007 Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
RLobinske Administrator  
Quiverwing Moderator Also foreign language moderator 
E. A. Smith Moderator  
Mr Orange Registered user Foreign language moderator 
TerraEsperZ Registered user Foreign language moderator 
2007-2008 Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
RLobinske Administrator  
Quiverwing Administrator Also foreign language moderator 
UU Moderator Also foreign language moderator 
Dervish Moderator  
Mr Orange Registered user Foreign language moderator 
TerraEsperZ Registered user Foreign language moderator 
2008-2010 Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
RLobinske Administrator  
Quiverwing Administrator Also foreign language moderator 
UU Moderator Also foreign language moderator 
Scissors MacGillicutty Moderator  
Mr Orange Registered user Foreign language moderator 
TerraEsperZ Registered user Foreign language moderator 
2011-2012 Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
RLobinske Administrator  
Quiverwing Administrator Also foreign language moderator 
UU Administrator Also foreign language moderator 
Scissors MacGillicutty Administrator  
BlackHole Registered user Foreign language moderator 
2012- Kara Wild Administrator Site owner  
RLobinske Administrator  
Quiverwing Administrator Also foreign language moderator 
Scissors MacGillicutty Administrator  
BlackHole Registered user Foreign language moderator 

External links